5 June 2018     UNESCO  Conferences  

Kaloyan Nikolov - president of the European Association of Folklore Festivals - EAFF took part in the working group, dealing with the use of information and technological communication for the protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. The working group includes representatives of the Republic of Korea, India and Mexico. The Chair is Jorge Gustavo Caicedo.

The workshop took place day after the start of the Seventh session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which ran at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 4 to 6 June 2018.

The aim of the working group is to improve the work of Accredited NGOs, focusing on several main points:

1. Share data of architecture and coding of inventories to improve and synchronies them
2. Create a blockchain for Accredited NGO´s. A block chain allows digital information to be distributed but not copied, among other things it cannot be controlled by any single entity, its transparent and it cannot be corrupted
3. Develop an app to share information, improve communication and promote participation of all accredited NGO´s

The information for the working meeting is published in the ICH NGO Forum where the article for the Seventh Genral Assembly of UNESCO, held in Paris, is published.

"This is 2018 – a year when the UNESCO 2003 Convention will celebrate 15 years of international cooperation for the safeguarding of living heritage practices throughout the globe: a living heritage in all its rich and fascinating diversity. Living in vastly changing times, moving through globalisation, migration movements, digitisation, the economic crisis, climate change; and given the fragility of numerous ICH practices facing enormous challenges, we have come forward to collaborate keeping in mind the value of ICH as a source of cultural diversity and a vector of sustainable development."

More important moments in which the Commission emphasized: 

  • The commitment for participatory safeguarding is core to the mission of the 2003 Convention. Participation of ICH Communities, groups and individuals involved is key in the implementation of safeguarding initiatives.
  • The ICH NGO Forum is enchanted by the deliberate sustained effort towards achieving the goals of the Convention and so evaluating and monitoring the course of the Convention in its implementation; 
  • With a growing acquaintance of the Convention worldwide, concrete activities of NGOs are contributing for the outreach and civil society involvement in the life of the Convention.
  • Opportunity to NGOs to share some of their safeguarding actions during the 7th General Assembly. The exhibition and performances were hosted by a vast cooperation of accredited NGOs from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa and Arab Region.

As you all may be aware, collaboration and collective efforts by the accredited NGOs have gathered momentum through the establishment of the ICH NGO Forum since 2009. Developing a platform for communication and coordination with accredited NGOs ever since, the Forum has delivered numerous outcomes already and is dedicating growing efforts for the outreach and civil society involvement in the life of the Convention.

The State Parties have consistently welcomed the endeavours of the Forum.
These include:

  • Capacity-building for NGOs, aligned with the Global Capacity Programme of the Convention
  • Working Groups addressing actual challenges faced in the safeguarding work.
  • Regional networks to develop network cooperation, relationships and capacities in the regions.
  • Beyond all this, the ICH NGO Forum is continuously working towards a transparent and sustainable format of governance.  Since the GA 2 years ago, it has set up an association and a bank account for transparent management and to enhance productive cooperation and support possibilities with states parties and other partners in the Convention. Strengthening the capacity of the Forum through financial and human resources is without hesitation the next step to be taken with view to an increasingly effective organization and activating the potential contribution of NGOs to their full potential for the Convention.
  • Possible ways in which the participation of NGOs under the 2003 Convention could be further enhanced and how this would be reflected in the accreditation and renewal mechanisms of NGOs.

The ICH NGO Forum welcomes newly accredited NGOs at the 7th General Assembly and is happy to invite new colleagues to take part in the activities and collaboration platform via the Forum.

The ICH NGO Forum thanks the Secretariat for its support and counsel on the participation of the NGOs.